Agriculture

Irregular rain is major Climate Change problem to farmers

 

(left to right) Agronomist Uri Fridman standing in a banana field with Jo-Anne Dorrington, a South African farmer working with Green Horizon, an Israeli company implementing the Food Security Independence Project in South Sudan. (Photo by David Mono Danga)

By David Mono Danga

Farmers in South Sudan say the irregularity in rains is a major problem of Climate Change in the country.

Mr. Ran Dvir, an Isreali Agronomist farming in South Sudan said “the rainy season is not clear. There is an irregularity and unpredictability of the rains in South Sudan.”

“In South Sudan sometimes when you expect the weather to dry up, it pours heavily flooding the crops but when you expect heavy rainfall it dries up causing draught hence affecting the overall production,” Mr. Ran said.

“A farmer cannot tell when the rains will start and when it will stop, it just happens unexpectedly,” he added.

Mr. Rand advised that farmers can adapt and mitigate the problems by growing crops according to the actual rain season other than on “season-ability.” He added that farmers should use metrological stations to monitor the variations in the weather patterns in the country.

“To adapt to these changes, farmers in South Sudan can use better technology to clear land, preparation and improvement of the drainage system. Farmers can introduce Meteorological stations to take the correct record of annual rains and detect the speed of wind, “he advised.

He also urged South Sudan to create an advanced generation of agronomists who are familiar with the modern ways of farming. Mr. Ran noted that the use of modern irrigation systems can help farmers adapt to or mitigate the negative impacts of climate change in South Sudan.

Last week The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN Climate Change, or UNFCCC) launched its first-ever annual report during the Bonn Climate Change Conference, which is meeting from 30 April to 10 May in Germany.

The report details 2017 achievements, the future of the climate change process, and what UN Climate Change is doing to support, encourage and build on the global response to climate change.

It also highlights the Law and Climate Change Toolkit, piloted in 2017 to help countries review national laws and undertake reforms to meet obligations under the Paris Agreement.

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the man-made crisis in South Sudan has pushed the country back on multiple fronts, hampering agricultural production, disrupting livelihoods and the coping abilities of the local communities.

“These are but few of several compelling reasons as to why climate change risks in South Sudan should be a pressing worry at this point in time for the policy makers and international partners. Despite its having no role in contributing to global warming, the country is at once highly vulnerable and least prepared to address looming threats systematically across sectors,” says UNDP.

According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2017, South Sudan is ranked amongst the five worst performing in the world alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Haiti and Liberia. Projections indicate that in South Sudan, global warming will be felt 2 ½ times more than the global average

Up to 95 percent of people in South Sudan, or more than 11 million people, depend on climate sensitive sectors, including agriculture, forestry resources and fisheries for their livelihoods. Anecdotally, seasonal streams are beginning to dry up, affecting fishing communities in several parts of the country. Drier weather spells are also likely to be an underlying driver of increased deforestation and resource-based conflicts between the pastoralists and the farming communities over access to grazing land.

“As the world gears up to confront the threats posed by climate change and support communities most affected, South Sudan faces a grave risk of being left behind despite being a signatory to the Paris Agreement. Mounting evidence across countries and regions show inaction now can have long term and potentially irreversible consequences. A case in point is the Lake Chad region which in relatively short span of fifty years has shrunk from an area of 25,000 square kilometres to 2,500 square kilometres, affecting nearly 50 million people and turned into a ‘threat multiplier’ by exacerbating tensions and conflicts in the communities that live there,” UNDP adds.

Up to 95 percent of the people of South Sudan, or more than 11 million people, depend on climate sensitive sectors, including agriculture, forestry resources and fisheries. (Photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran, UNDP)

The UN Climate Change report recalls that the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UNFCCC resulted in, inter alia: almost US$1 billion in financial commitments to address climate change; the launch of the Talanoa Dialogue, which aims to inform and inspire Parties as they increase their commitments; the first-ever Gender Action Plan; a platform for indigenous peoples and local communities aimed at the exchange of knowledge, technologies and practices; and an agreement on agriculture.

It discusses goals for the year ahead, including: increasing the number of ratifications of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol so it can enter into force; concluding the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue in the lead up to and during COP 24 in Katowice, Poland; and adopting the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) by the end of 2018 at COP 24.

The report acknowledges links between the Paris Agreement on climate change, the SDGs and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), whereby action in one area benefits the others, and, in the words of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, pursuing the three together “increase[s] impact and efficiency” and helps transform peoples’ lives and ensure a healthy planet.

On increasing the ability of countries to report on emissions, UN Climate Change 2017 activities included: training programmes for review experts on greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and on biennial reports (BRs) and national communications (NCs); a handbook for measurement, reporting and verification (MRV); and regional training sessions and expos to help national experts prepare and finance national adaptation plans (NAPs), and align them with the SDGs.

However, the Devdiscourse news reported earlier this week that the Climate change fund for developing countries fell short, nearly by half. The reports presented by Oxfam says that the Paris agreement on climate change which set a target of providing USD 100 billion a year.

In the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, the developed countries promised to help poor countries to tackle greenhouse gas emission and deal with the climate change.

“The Paris Agreement on Climate Change which set a target of providing USD 100 billion a year to the developing nations by 2020, is falling short by nearly half the amount as in 2015-16 the figure stood about USD 48 billion,” the reports presented by Oxfam indicated.

While reporting on the finance of Climate Change announced by the donor countries, Oxfam found that only USD 16-USD 21 billion funds fell under the strict definition of climate finance, which was totally directed towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emission and towards the adaptation for climate change. The money flowing to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries to tackle climate change was “sadly inadequate” said Tracy Carty, a Senior Climate-Change Policy Adviser at Oxfam.

Climate finance is an important subject which needs more attention, while the rich countries say that when the contribution of the private sector is taken into account the amount generated are in line with the Paris Agreement, but Oxfam reports says that there is no common methodology to take account of the contributions.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change which will be held in Bonn, Germany, where the government delegates from all over the world will meet to discuss the implementation of 2015 Paris Agreement into practice. The world is keeping a close eye on the event which might bring reinforcement for the poor counties.

 

 

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